Monday, October 31, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011


As much as I am SO NOT a morning person, I sort of do love mornings.  Once I'm really awake and forced out of bed, and have a cup of coffee in me, I love mornings.

And this particular morning, well it really is lovely.  Gus and I have the whole day ahead of us, no plans, no appointments, and loads of sunshine at our disposal.

We've had our breakfast, scrambled eggs and whole wheat toast for me, a waffle and strawberries for Gus.  Now Gus is downstairs playing with his trains, I've got Nancy Cassidy playing on the ipod for him, to keep him company.  We've discovered that sometimes his demands for television ("Watch Tee-Bee Mama!  Watch Thomas!!") can sometimes be diverted without tears if we put on some kiddie music while he plays on his own.  It's an awesome trick and totally seems to work.  Helps him play independently and happily for much longer, without the help of television. 

I've worried in the last few weeks or so that the TV thing is starting to get out of hand.  He could have cared less about it for the first nearly two years of his life, aside maybe from some PBS in the mornings or when he woke up cranky from a nap, but just recently it's ALL THE TIME.  Demanding Thomas the Train or this weird little live action video that came with a book he got for his birthday showing all different kinds of farm animals running through fields and being generally adorable, with this trippy/happy music in the background and little kids talking about what each animal is called.  He loves that crazy video, which he has dubbed "e-i-e-i-o".

Anyway... so yeah.  Just too much TV.  And the more he watches it, the more he demands it, and the more cranky he becomes.  As soon as a 45 minute episode of Thomas is over, he starts screaming for more.  Not cool.

So today... what should we do today?  It's Friday!  I am home with my boy and it's going to be a beautiful day.  So much promise.  I love that.

Ok, one more cup of coffee, then we're going to go have some sort of adventure.  Happy Friday!       

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This glorious fall

Fall.  It has been extraordinarily wonderful, right?  Well we've certainly made an effort to get out and enjoy it as much as possible.  Trying not to think about the season that awaits us...

At the cabin in Wisconsin

The "Men" building the deck.

Playing nicely (sometimes) with cousins.

Home and around town









And this past weekend, it was the

We rode through Osceola to the train depot on this awesome bus.  Gus was pretty insanely excited.

And then we told him he got to ride on THIS!

Always trying to get away in pictures with mom.

And the hay bale maze was the best thing yet, surprisingly!  He ran through that thing, grinning, about 30 times.

The Haps

A few things that are all completely unrelated but have been happening around these parts...

Gus is obsessed with frozen blueberries, he goes crazy for those messy, stain-inducing little buggers.  Like, last night, wouldn't touch the pizza, yes pizza, that was sitting on his plate all delicious-like and instead opted for two huge bowls full of frozen blueberries.  When his first bowl was empty he looked up at me with those big eyes, his entire mouth and chin stained blue, and exclaimed, "Oh NOOOOO!  All GONE!"  So I filled er up, and that was pretty much it for dinner.  Toddlers are so weird you guys.

So... looks like my child is the class bully.  Goodness.  We've been having separation anxiety issues over the last three weeks or so, which has been super strange for him, but clearly the little guy is going through something.  So yesterday he did not freak out when I left him in class with Teacher Ann, Teacher Kathy and the rest of the kids, and he actually looked excited to play with all the toys, running around smiling, still hugging me real tight, but there were no tears, no drama.  And I was so relieved, because the whole routine just breaks my heart, and I was hoping that he would get better.

But THEN!  At the end of the class, when us parents came in during snack time the little guy was sitting on the teacher's lap, all smiles exclaiming, "Mama!  You came back!".  And THEN!  Teacher Ann pulled me aside to tell me that he had a bit of a "rough morning".  My immediate thought was that he was sad for a while, like last time.  No, he was just really aggressive with other kids, throwing toys, pushing, not sharing.  Ugh.  Now I am not at all surprised by this, he also seems to be going through a little aggressive testing limits phase as well, particularly with his little 7 month old cousin.  And we are working on it, but he just doesn't seem to be getting it, the "talks" we have about being nice to other kids and sharing, the time-outs.  I'm not too concerned, because I think HE IS A TWO YEAR OLD who does not spend a ton of time with other kids his age, and I think this type of behavior is actually quite normal.  But jeez, no one wants to be pulled aside by the teacher at the end of class.  I felt totally admonished.

I'm sure it's a phase, he's clearly going through something, and that something might even have to do with the fact that he can sense an impending, dun dun dun... new baby to compete with.  And I have to keep reminding myself that he is a toddler, and toddlers are, in essence, crazy.  Because I simply can't imagine it would be possible for two of the most introverted conflict-avoiders out there (I'm talking about Dan and I) to mate and produce a bully.  No, that just doesn't make sense!  All through grade school and even high school my friends used to yell at me for saying "I'm sorry" too often, or when completely unnecessary.  I am a conflict avoider to a fault, and it's something I have to work on, my self confidence, and the ability to stand up for myself and my opinions.  So no.  My child the mean kid?  No. 

Honestly, I have some hard core mama-bear fears about sending Gus off to school someday, and all that potential for him to have trouble making friends, or get his feelings hurt by some other bully kids.  Just the idea of it breaks my heart.  But there is the other side of it I suppose.  That fact NEVER even occurred to me, that he might end up being the mean kid, you know?  My mind is blown people. 

Switching topics...

I am becoming increasingly frustrated by my maternity wardrobe, since I'm doing the pregnant thing on a completely different timetable this time.  Blech.  So I am getting big, officially in the 3rd trimester today (whoa!), the weather is getting cooler, and my closet full of springy maternity tops and sundresses is looking very out of season.  Dern.  I was pregnant in the winter last time, but obviously not wearing maternity clothes yet, so... there you go.

I hate the idea of buying more maternity clothes, I've already made my fair share of purchases this second time around, a pairs of jeans, cords, some simple tanks for under non-maternity cardigans.  So I told myself NO MORE!  But goodness, it is getting difficult to get dressed in the morning.  I have a lot of great dresses that could work for the office, but now I need tights.  And the non-maternity tights I have are like torture devices, so uncomfortable sitting under the belly all day.  I am ready to rip them off my body with my teeth by the time the afternoon hits.  

Anyway, such a stupid thing to even be stressing about.  I need to just bite the bullet and buy some cheap winter tops from Old Navy, or shut up about it.  I remember getting this way in the third trimester when I was pregnant with Gus, so many changes happening with my body, I just have this intense desire to buy things that might help me feel like myself a little bit.

In other pregnancy news, tomorrow morning I do the lovely glucose tolerance screening for Gestational Diabetes, so that should be good times.  I've mentioned this before, but because Gus was over 9 lbs at birth, they do things a little differently, taking into consideration the fact that I could have been borderline GD during my last pregnancy.  So I took a two hour test at 16 weeks, which involved fasting for 8 hours, getting my blood drawn, then drinking the nasty flat extra sugary orange drink, waiting an hour, getting my blood drawn again, waiting another hour, and getting my blood drawn a third and final time. 

It really was a blast, as I'm sure those of you who have done this screening in any of its forms would agree.  Ugh.  Actually it was extra horrible to do at 16 weeks because I still had some of those first trimester symptoms, and not eating only made them worse.  Whatever, I passed, I was relieved, my midwife was cool.  I went about my second trimester. 

Tomorrow, at 28 weeks, I do the same two hour test again.  And the two hour test is not like the one hour test in that if you fail, you have to do the 3 hour test to confirm and/or rule out a false positive.  The two hour test is IT. Do or die.  You fail, you have Gestational Diabetes. 

Wow, all this third trimester testing stuff is really bringing things home, I can't believe how quickly these weeks have flown!  Should we be doing a refresher labor and delivery class?  Gosh, I haven't really even considered it.  Just not even on my radar.  At the very least, I should start reading through my Bradley books again.  Crazy.  As I've said, second pregnancy = SO DIFFERENT.  At this point in time during my first pregnancy I was obsessing about this stuff, constantly.  There really is just no time for obsessing anymore!       

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Day in the Life

Laura over at Navigating the Mothership does this Day in the Life project quarterly, and I LOVE reading her posts.  There's just something about the completely mundane details of another person's life that gets my engines going.  I find it FASCINATING, and a fun way to relate to another's experiences.

So when she announced last week that she would be doing it this week, I decided to jump aboard and attempt to participate.

May I say, whoa.  This was way more time consuming to put together than I anticipated.  Not the actual taking of pictures throughout the day and writing down little notes to help me remember, that stuff was fun.  But the consolidating of all the pictures and the timeline and all that, and then actually typing up completely mundane details about my life, has proven to be the difficult part.  More like, exhausting.  And sort of awkward, because when you really put it all together, it's impossible for me to not get a little self conscious that this is SO BORING and no one wants to hear about my morning routine, or lack there of.

But maybe they do?  I like reading about your morning routine.

So this is dedicated to weirdos like me who get there jollies from this stuff.  Do not even read ahead if you are not a weirdo like me.

Without further ado...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

6:00 AM (ish):  I'm still laying in bed half asleep as Dan kisses me goodbye and gives the dog some snuggles (guess which one of us is a morning person?).  I continue to lay there a few minutes until I am jarred awake by my toddler screaming into the monitor, "Mommy!  WET!  Mommy, WET!  WET!  WET!"  Ugh.  I know that means his diaper sprung a leak overnight, and he is definitely up for the day.  (Also, I will be doing laundry before I leave for work.)  He had a rough night, multiple wake-ups almost as if he was a newborn again, lots of tossing & turning, maybe he's finally getting some of those two year molars that we usually blame crankiness and poor sleeping habits on?  Poor little guy.  Poor me.

So I trudge upstairs.  Normally if he wakes up as early as 6:00, I can grab him a sippy of milk and climb into bed with him for fifteen minutes.  That usually gets him back down for at least another hour, sometimes more.

But he's definitely not going back to sleep when both he and his sheets are drenched in urine.  Gross.

As I'm changing the sheets and getting Gus dressed and changed, I yell into the monitor something to the affect of, "Dan, if you're still here, would you PLEASE come up here and get these sheets down to the laundry."

(We both often use the baby monitor as a one-way walkie-talkie.  So does Gus when he wakes up in the middle of the night and demands, "Daddy milk, daddy milk!")

Thankfully, he hasn't left the house yet, and he can do the damn laundry.  I bring a bleary-eyed and slightly crabby Gus all the way downstairs to the basement, and set him up with a netflix episode of Thomas & Friends, his blanket, a piece of pumpkin banana bread, and of course his milk.

Early wakeup
Pumpkin/Banana bread
Bed Head

I contemplate grabbing my own breakfast and blanket, and doing the same, but instead kiss the little guy on his forehead, say goodbye again to Dan, and head to the shower.

6:15 AM:  (That was an exhausting 15 minutes.)  In the shower.

6:20 AM:  Stupid freaking alarm is going off, just as I'm starting to shave my legs.  Ahhhhhhhh!

6:21 AM:  Jump out of the shower, wet and cold, and run over and shut off the alarm. Swear a few obscenities.


6:32 AM:  Out of the shower and dried off, rocking the towel turban.  Take a picture of the offensive alarm, whose blaring ten minutes earlier was just a reminder of the fact that I normally would have gotten another twenty minutes more of sleep than I did today.  (At least 20 minutes.  Probably another 10 minute snooze.)

The offending alarm clock

Wet hair, in Dan's old robe, feeling super motivated to start the day.  Yup.  Also, yes, there are bras sitting on my dresser.  This is real life after all.  For some reason there are always bras sitting on my dreser.   

Fresh from the shower

Hair - mousse applied and scrunched, left to air dry.  I never thought I would become a wash and go kinda lady, but that is pretty much what has happened over the last two years of motherhood.

Makeup - a little foundation, bronzer, blush, and mascara.  Done.

Clothing/accessories - I am feeling on the ball today because I actually picked something out last night.  No outfit crisis today!  Woot!  Non-maternity empire waist dress from Kohl's (stay classy Daisy Fuentes), non-maternity pink cardigan, about 7 years old, pearl earings, gold flats.

I try to take a picture of myself in the bathroom mirror, but Thomas must be over, because all of a sudden Gus is pulling on the hem of my dress, carrying around one of his favorite books, whining, "Monkeys nothing to do!  Mama read it!"  Picture is blurry, and Gus smells like poop.  So yeah.  Later with the outfit pictures.

I change Gus's diaper, read him the blasted book (that I read at least twice every day), then I read another one about those darn monkeys (this time baking their mama a birthday cake), and finally have to put my foot down when he requests a third, telling him that we have to get going to grandma's house because mommy has to go to work today.

Out the door, purse, daycare bag, and toddler all in my arms.  Bye Bella!  (She is not so happy when we leave, I really wish she would just get with the program on that.  We always come home.)

Bye Bella!

And we're off.  Today's commute has officially begun.

Time to go to grandma's!

Cute new handbag's first day!

First day with my new handbag

Clock is 10 minutes fast.  We are actually on the road by 7:14 AM.

Officially on our way

We arrive at my in-law's home and it is a bit of a ruckus as usual.  Dogs barking.  My 7 month old niece is looking adorable in her little purple sweater, hanging out in the exersaucer.  We chit chat for a bit, I always linger too long I think but my mother-in-law doesn't seem to mind.  Gus is extra needy this morning though, so that stresses me out.  Is he starting to sense something about the impending second child?  I don't know, but he's all about me, all the time these days, and he holds onto my neck tight and doesn't want me to leave.

Eventually I just have to hand him off and he is crying and flailing in her arms as I wave goodbye to them at the door.  Boo.  I don't get it.  I know he loves it at Grandma's, but sometimes he does this, particularly over the last month or so, and I don't get it.

(Later my mother-in-law tells me that he stopped crying as soon as I drove away, and then looked at her point blank, "Waffle?".  Ridiculous.)

Onward with the commute.  After stopping at Starbucks for a venti 1/2 caff drip (that sounded soooooo pretentious, it's just a large coffee, 1/2 decaf 1/2 light roast) and a donut (yeah, yeah, yeah) I am finally on my way.  Throughout the rest of my drive, baby boy starts getting all thumpety thump in my womb as a result of the caffeine and sugar.  I still get all ooh and ahhh about baby kicks, because truly, it is just so awesome and amazing and such a miracle. 
Commute continued...

I finally arrive at work at 8:20 AM.  That's not too bad, just a tiny bit over an hour today.  (My in-laws house is 100% out of my way.  Dropping Gus off in the morning adds about a half hour when all is said and done, partly because I always linger and chat too long.)

She works hard for the money

Work is stressful because it's Q3 and September month-end close.  And month-end close never seems to go smoothly at the end of a quarter.  My boss is in my office telling me about the latest EBIT emergency that demaneds my immediate attention before my computer has even booted up.

11:00 AM (ish):  I am starving and don't think I can hold out until lunch.  Pregnant Alicia eats every two to three hours, or there is hell to pay.  So I grab the yogurt that I had left in the refrigerator last Thursday.   

Post-yogurt, I am not so super motivated since it's almost lunch, and I remember that I need to take an outfit picture.  So I go upstairs to the bathroom that is not used by very many people to do a creepy bathroom mirror shot.

What I wore.

By the way, 26 weeks pregnant today. Hey there little guy! 

What I wore. Take 2.

11:56 AM:  Lunch with Ben (brother/coworker/office neighbor).  It's Jimmy Johns today, because Ben ALWAYS wants Jimmy Johns.  (Yes, I eat deli meat while pregnant.)  We eat outside because it is so incredibly gorgeous out. 

Lunch with Ben

While dining on our sandwiches (#4, no mayo, add cucumbers) I get a cute picture of Gus via text from my mother-in-law, playing with trucks in their backyard.  I do so love these little updates she sends.

Grandma update

1:00 PM:  We have been back in the office for maybe ten minutes when there's a fire drill.  Sweet!  So we all file out and hang out for about five minutes in the glorious fall weather.

2:45 PM:  Drive over to the other building (about 10 minutes away) for a weekly 3:00 staff meeting.  Exciting stuff.  Wow.  Day in the life at the office is boooooooring.

4:30 PM:  Out of the meeting, setting up shop here in cube land for the rest of the afternoon.

Cube Land

5:20 PM:  Leave work and head towards the in-laws house.  Dan usually does pick-up in the afternoons, because he only works until 3:30, but tonight we're all meeting there for dinner to celebrate his sister Maria's 17th birthday. 

Happy Birthday Maria!

With the hustle and bustle of my commute home, having to pee like an insane pregnant fool immediately upon arrival, and then catching up with my little guy, and the rest of the family, I forget for about two or so hours about this whole "Day in the Life" project.  Woops!

A quick summary of those forgotten two hours:  Push Gus on the swing in the backyard, eat a bunch of Dan's grandma's amazing bars, coo over my adorable niece and nephews, catch up with sister-in-law Kirsten, reel in horror a little when Dan tells me how many little Halloween-sized candy bars Gus had before I got there, make the child a plate, try not to be annoyed that he eats only the canteloupe and green beans (won't even touch the ham or cheesy potatoes, fickle toddlers I tell you), make my own plate of delicious ham, cheesy potatoes, and salad, eat it all up and go back for just a tiny bit more cheesy potatoes, remember about the "Day in the Life" project just as we're getting Gus cleaned up after dinner, snap this picture of him being a maniac with the place mat.



After dinner Gus goes back to playing and causing mischief with his cousins/aunts and uncles, while Dan and I relax and talk with family.  It is so nice that he finally seems to have gotten to this point where he kind of just blends in with the rest of the family, hangs out with the kids, follows them upstairs, plays by himself outside on the back patio.  I don't know when it happened, but it's like he's growing up or something.  There is so much less parental hovering required these days.  He is a happy little independent kid, and also just one of the gang.  I really noticed this tonight, but I realize it's been happening slowly and will probably continue to happen without my noticing.  It's kind of awesome.


Baby girl cheeks.  Delicious.  This lady is already crawling and pulling herself up at 7 months old!  Craziness. 


Dan's littlest sister, seven years old, and her (our) nephew.  I love that this little guy will stop whatever he's doing, smile big, and say cheese for a picture.  He then asks for you show it to him.  He is such a sweetheart.  Gus could learn a thing or two from his cousin. 


Maria opens her presents while Gus assists.  I picked her out some clothes and this adorable little canvas cross wrap purse with fringe from American Eagle.  I don't quite have a guague as to whether or not my gifts for teenagers these days are lame or cool.  It's so hard to know what's cool these days, I am so removed from all things high school. Oh well, I try.  I do sort of wish my high school self would have had better fashion sense, and more self confidence, and a straightening iron.  I feel like if I got a second chance at being a teenager, 17 Again style, I would be much cooler and more attractive.

Anyway....  Back to the party.


Party People

Grandma kisses

Cutting the cake

Following presents and cake, the party sort of wraps up.  It was fun and lively, lots of kids and dogs, laughter, chaos, this family is great and I am lucky to be a part of it. 

We decide it REALLY is time to get home after an incident during which the young kids were playing some sort of hide and seek/tag game in the bedrooms and the hall off of the living room with all the lights off.  I unwittingly sneak by the craziness to go to the bathroom, noting that Gus is in the dark room with all the kids, and when I come back out, all hell has seemingly broken loose, my 2 year old nephew is screaming that someone had stepped on his hand, my 5 year old nephew runs out of the room and plows me and the little guy down as I am inspecting said hand, and then Dan's 27 year old sister Heidi, having heard absolutely enough of the ruckus and commotion, tears into the bedroom, turns on all the lights, and scolds the children in an authoritative and no-nonsense way I swear only Heidi can pull off.  "That is ENOUGH! What is going on in here?!"...

And then I notice that Gus is no longer a part of the commotion.  "Where's Gus?" I ask, tearing through the room, looking in the closet, under the bed.  "Julia is Gus in here?  He was just here!"

No one seems to know where he is, and Dan's mom and I start tearing around the house looking for him.  Finally I notice that the door to the basement is open a crack, but the light in the stairwell is off.  He wouldn't have gone down there in the dark?

Of course he would!

It's a basement, typical.  Cold, dark, cement floors, laundry, an extra refrigerator, my father-in-law's big desk full of paperwork and clutter.

But Gus is hanging out down there all by himself, had climbed up on the rolling office chair and is jabbering about some of the model cars and other trinkets his grandpa has displayed around the desk.  Playing with an economy size bottle of Asprin.  Jeez.

About 5 minutes later Dan and I find him down there again, and this time he has just discovered a little metal motorcycle.  And a pair of scissors underneath a pile of paperwork.

Alright, it's really time to go home.

It's 8:53 PM.  A very long, but lovely day, and we're finally headed home.

Gus's eyes tell me he's ready for bed.

It's a race to bedtime as soon as we walk in that door.  No bath tonight.  Jammies, books, let's do this.  Gus gets a little bit of last minute playing in, hanging out in baby brother's nursery, what used to be Gus's nursery.  That hasn't really totally been converted back to baby nursery because it's still full of Gus's stuff.  A project for another day... 

Baby brother's nursery/Gus's old room

Since Gus soaked through his sheets this morning (seems like so long ago) they are still in the dryer.  But they're dry, cause Dan has the forsight to run it this afternoon when he came home to pick up the dog for the party.  Dan = Awesome.  But ugh.  The fun never stops...

Shhh... Bedtime

Bedtime stories.  We have been reading these three books at bedtime for about the last month or so.  Puff the Magic Dragon (he makes one of us, preferably mom, sing it), Day is Done, and Little Bear's Bedtime.  That last one is really starting to grate on me, so we may have to switch things up again soon.

His lovey is my hair.  He falls asleep clutching it.  (Amazing that I'm still wearing what I wore to work today.  Normally I would totally be in sweatpants by now, probably for the last three hours.)


After stories, we say prayers, kiss daddy goodnight (tonight is my night to lay with him), and Gus and I snuggle until he falls asleep.  It was a very very long day today, and the little guy passes out within about 10 minutes.  And I sneak out...

Our view

I come downstairs, Dan has packed Gus's bag for tomorrow, and is in the shower.  I grab the tupperware container of cut pinneapple from the refrigerator, a fork, and my water, and go downstairs to relax, finally.  I watch the end of the DVR'd episode of Pan Am that I started last night, and when it's over, decide I'm too tired to relax any longer.  My pillow is calling me.  10:30 PM.

15 minutes